Cookbook Reviews

Cookbook Review: India with Passion by Manju Malhi

India with Passion by Manju Malhi

When I received Manju Malhi’s cookbook, India with Passion, for a review, I couldn’t wait to brew myself a nice hot ‘cuppa Joe, and snuggle up on the couch with it. With photographs that are totally drool-worthy, the recipes just seem to pop out begging me to give them a try.

Written with utmost passion, the book is divided into four parts – North, South, East and West, with each section comprising of traditional and some not-so-traditional recipes from that region. With a wonderfully drafted introduction, detailing the kind of food eaten, various cooking techniques, and it’s history with the people, each section brings you a few steps closer to understanding the diversity that India offers and appreciating the effect it brought about to the Indian cuisine.


If I ever believed that classic Indian dishes could never be listed without missing a few in the process, this book has only sustained my faith. As you move through each section of the book, and undoubtedly through each recipe as well, it’s hard not to notice the change in cooking style and the flavours prominent in each region. While the North may be proud of it’s history with the Mughals and their love for rich creamy curries, the South doesn’t fail to enhance you with its love for the sweet coconut and pungent curry leaves. Where you may enjoy the sweetness of the West, there’s the spiciness of the East that could take your breath away.

When cooking for friends and family, I tend to not fuss too much with the traditional ways of Indian cooking. And I think that’s why Manju’s recipes struck a chord with me. Not a traditionalist herself, she happily suggests easy substitutions where ever possible. While some of the recipes are down-right classics, many of them were created in her own kitchen using everyday ingredients and enhancing the simple flavours we all love. Renowned for her simple, homely approach to Indian cooking, Manju Malhi has quickly become a favourite in my kitchen.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Mona
    March 19, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Was just browsing through your blog and came across this post on the cookbook you are referring here. I love to collect cookboks and many i have this one too. I love this cookbook. Its very good and quite handy for everyday cooking.

  • Reply
    Hina
    July 22, 2007 at 10:27 PM

    Hi Meena..

    I have never truly given a cookbook a real chance!! My Mom had a few baking cookbooks that I tried to read and try some recipes of.. but our food mostly being the traditional Punjabi style.. I didn’t have much motivation to stray from the tradition. But most recipes of traditional food that I tried never quite did the job of my the dish taste anything close to my mom’s cooking!! So it was obviously never good enough! So I stopped looking for recipes, and therefore didn’t cook much Indian, which was fine for a bit.. but food was no longer an “interesting” enough thing to indulge in (by enjoying or cooking)! Then I.. after hearing so much about your site and it’s popularity from a common friend.. ๐Ÿ™‚ ..browsed over to it one day.. and since that day, I’m a changed person!! ๐Ÿ™‚ My husband loves the dishes I make by following recipes.. AND.. it reminds me of my mom’s food!! (I know.. it can never be the same really..but you know what I mean!) That has gradually restored some of my faith in my own cooking!! I am the person who would worry endlessly before, and until I was done entertaining guests.. especially my parents and their friends! I had a very busy 3-day weekend.. with guests every night.. but Thanks to you.. I managed just fine, and got loads of compliments! {My mom actually told me one of my dishes tasted better than hers!! Was I ever “sharminda”!! :)}

    ALL THAT being said.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to buying my very first own cookbook!! With the review you’ve written above.. I am sure this book is going to be just as inspiring and fun as your site is!!

    Thank You.. your site is a breath of fresh air from the usual cooking sites!

    Cheers,
    Hina.

  • Reply
    Abhi
    February 16, 2007 at 11:32 AM

    this looks just like what i would buy. trying to work with the old school authors and their strict ways is too cumbersome.

    great website. we try to use as many of your recipes as we can. thank you.

  • Reply
    Rachel
    February 13, 2007 at 10:39 PM

    Great review. I haven’t heard of this book yet but I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for it. I love cookbooks that combine the history / geography / culture in an explanation of the recipes. I am currently reading through the Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook which focuses on Hunan cuisine. It is interesting to see how they compare it with Szechuan and provinces in China.

  • Reply
    Shilpa
    February 9, 2007 at 5:32 AM

    Wow, another book to add to my already staggering collection… I like the classification by region, but are there at least a couple of good and quick recipes? Am still recovering from a curry cookout last weekend.. still need more curry, but am in no shape to stand over the stove for hours again.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Hey Shilpa, yup, there are many classic recipes that are total crowd pleasers. Can neverร‚ย have too much curry now, can we! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply
    Madhuli
    February 8, 2007 at 10:24 PM

    Hi Meenakshi. You have a great blog there.And I love all your photos and ur writing style too!keep it up.Cheers!

  • Reply
    Kanchana
    February 8, 2007 at 4:37 PM

    I love all your pictures. Can’t wait to try some of your recipes:)

    Kanchana’s Kitchen
    http://www.kanchspot.blogspot.com

    Thanks Kanchan!

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